Shannon Davis – Staff Highlight

Meet Shannon Davis, one of our new Career Management Directors at WVJC- Morgantown!

Shannon started her career after graduating from West Virginia University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. But like many, she realized the field of journalism wasn’t where her true passions lay. During her time at WVU, she helped to found a community service sorority on campus, Omega Phi Alpha. This is where she discovered her love for community service and her passion for being involved in the community. 

Upon graduation, she worked as an assistant preschool teacher for a local nonprofit daycare in Morgantown. Very quickly climbing the ranks, she soon became the evening person in charge and eventually took on the role of assistant director. She has also worked at Ronald McDonald House Charities previously.

Shannon has also been very active in the community throughout her career, participating in the Morgantown nonprofit community forum, volunteering as a panelist for M-Tec education program, and volunteering with the national organization of her sorority as the National Awards Coordinator. 

“I love the culture, the people, and the community of Morgantown. Moving here from out of state when I came here for college, it was truly a shock to be treated like I was part of the West Virginia family from day one.”

While she may be new to the West Virginia Junior College family and the role of a Career Management Director, she is excited about all the future prospects that come with this role. 

“I’m excited to work with students and to help them find jobs, not just in the Morgantown community but throughout the state or even multiple states for our online students. I truly do believe that networking is the backbone for anyone searching for a job,” said Shannon. “Get out into the community, be personable, and get involved, and you’ll be blown away by the possibilities that will come your way.”

Shannon will also be teaching a Career Preparation course that prepares students to create documents needed to obtain employment, such as; cover letters, resumes, thank you letters, and references. In this course, students also complete a mock interview to assist them in proper interview techniques.

Shannon enjoys many things outside of work, including camping, vacationing (specifically anywhere that has a beach), and spending time with her family and friends. 

One thing she loves about WVJC is the personalization that the campus gives to its students as a whole. It doesn’t matter if you are a student who lives in town or someone who lives hours away; the program directors, instructors, deans, and other support staff are all so hands-on in each of their students’ lives. 

“I can only hope that as I grow with the campus as a whole that I will be able to guide these students to a career that brings them joy and satisfaction. I’m driven knowing that I am directly impacting both the students’ lives and their communities. Finding a job isn’t always easy, especially when you are doing it on your own. So I am glad to be able to help make their lives a little bit easier and create a positive impact,” said Shannon.

According to Shannon, the key to success when searching for a job and interviewing is to let your personality shine. 

“While businesses are looking at your degree and qualifications when you apply for a job, a lot of people get so stuck in their head during interviews that they forget about one of the most important skills to have- your soft skills, your personality!”

Jenna Ramirez – Student Highlight

Jenna Ramirez is currently a student in the Information Technology Degree program! Before enrolling at West Virginia Junior College, Jenna attended West Virginia University majoring in Nutrition. After a year at WVU Jenna realized her needs weren’t quite met; after searching for schools online, she found that WVJC was just what she was looking for. Jenna stated “I feel like WVJC provides a better learning environment because it’s a smaller college. The instructors and really all the faculty are invested in the student’s college, career, and care about the student’s success from day one and even years down the road.”

Jenna feels strongly that she will develop great relationships and the skills she needs to succeed in the IT field due to the smaller class size! In such a short time Jenna has already begun to create those relationships saying “If I could choose a TA as my favorite teacher, it would definitely be Misti.” Jenna is enjoying the smaller class sizes and the environment that brings, saying “small classes give you the opportunity to get to know your classmates and that the staff makes you feel at home!”

When Jenna looks to the future, she currently sees herself potentially working with the FBI and sees the IT field as a great step into that career path! No matter what Jenna decides to do, she knows that she will have the WVJC family there to support her every step of the way!

 

Dayna Ferrari – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Dayna Ferrari started attending WVJC in August 2020 after graduating from Capital High School.  Dayna said, “My decision to attend WVJC was an easy one.” Dayna has always had an interest in the medical field. She said, “WVJC Clinical Medical Assistant program is fast-track, has smaller classes, and offers a flexible schedule which gave me the confidence to start my college education.”

The Clinical Medical Assistant program at WVJC offers various courses that provide students hands-on training in clinical skills for entry-level positions working in any setting in healthcare. Dayna said, “My favorite class so far is Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Settle. I have always been enthralled by the inner workings of the body and how it functions.” Another favorite class of Dayna’s is her medical assisting lab class taught by Program Director Chelsea Abbott. She said, “I find the lab work very interesting and hands-on, which helps me focus and retain the information I have learned.”

Dayna has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for two years. She enjoys helping people but is looking forward to expanding her scope of practice as a Certified Medical Assistant. After graduation, Dayna wants to work as a medical assistant in a pediatric setting. Her long-term goal is to become a Registered Nurse in the pediatric wing of a hospital, married, and have her own home and start a family. In her free time, Dayna enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix and researching medical issues taking place around the globe.

We asked Dayna if she has any advice for a new student, she said, “My advice to new students would be to make sure you start on a strong foot, don’t be afraid to talk to your instructors, they understand everything that is going on, big or small.  Get involved in the school; it will help you to succeed more.”

Dayna said, “I would absolutely recommend WVJC to friends and family! Growing up, I always needed one-on-one communication with my teacher; not only did I get that at WVJC, but it also offered an environment where I could focus and buckle down.  The staff is also very understanding in regards to your life outside of school, and the flexible schedule makes it easier to keep my job and focus on my studies without becoming overwhelmed.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant program, request information here!

Cortney Warner – Student Highlight

West Virginia Junior College Medical Coding student Cortney Warner began her classes in February of 2021. In the fourth module of her program, Cortney has come a long way toward achieving her dreams! Cortney has worked in the medical field since 2010, previously a Pharmacy Technician and a Scrub Technician. When asked what inspired her to decide to switch her career focus to medical coding, Cortney shared, “I chose medical coding and billing because I love being in the healthcare setting. I feel I can contribute to a hospital or insurance company in the future. It is such an important job that most overlook. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it!”

Cortney has been thinking about her future and how she would like to see life play out as she completes her Medical Coding program. “My ideal job after graduation is to be employed by a company I can work from home for. I have a step-daughter and a baby girl; after losing my son to an accident, I don’t want to be away from them.” Cortney noted that, though she has encountered some tough times in the recent past, she only wants to move onward and upward toward her dreams. “It would be a dream come true to be able to be close to my girls, but do something I love.”

In the almost five months since she has been a WVJC Online student, Cortney has enjoyed her experience! She has felt very welcomed and encouraged from the beginning, starting with her first admissions phone call. She would be happy for those close to her to have the same positive experience if they ever decide to further their education, stating, “I would most definitely recommend WVJC Online to my friends and family! Not only have my teachers been very accommodating, but each and every person I have spoken with actually cares about you and your future. They are there to help at any given time. It’s like having a friend available to lend you a hand. You are not just a student at WVJC…you are family!”

Here at WVJC Online, our core values are WE CARE, and we do care! We are so happy to have Cortney as part of the WVJC family! If the fast-track Medical Coding program sounds interesting to you, and you’d like to get more information, request information here!

Sara Westbrook – Staff Highlight

Sara Westbrook has been an employee of WVJC since April 2019.  She started as an Online Admissions Advisor where she contacted individuals requesting information on our online programs and guided potential students through the admissions, enrollment, and onboarding processes. Sara enjoyed hearing the stories of the people she supported and found it very rewarding to help people find the path to change their lives.

In October 2020, Sara transitioned into her current role of Admissions Coordinator. In this role, she works tirelessly behind the scenes supporting the Online and Morgantown admissions teams through reporting, tracking, inquiry management, and distribution, clerical support, special projects, creative designs, social media, and much more. She thoroughly enjoys working behind the scenes and supporting the admissions team. She likes the opportunity to get to know all potential and enrolled students and ensure they have everything they need for a successful start.

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering attending WVJC?” Sara replied, “The teams you will work with (admissions, financial aid, academic, and career services) are outstanding.  They truly care about their students and want to see them succeed.  You will definitely not feel like a number, and it’s nice to know that the faculty and staff are 100% invested in your success!”

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering employment with WVJC?” Sara replied, “You will feel like family from the moment you walk through the door on your first day of work.  I couldn’t ask for a better work family, as some of them have definitely become lifelong friends.”

Sara has grown personally and professionally during the past two years. She emulates our WE CARE core values every day and has proven to be a valuable resource to our staff and students.  We are thrilled to have Sara as a member of the WVJC family.

To learn more about the WVJC admissions team, request information here!

New Year, New Career at the Charleston Campus

As another year passes by, now is the time to take the next step in finding your career! At WVJC Charleston, our goal is to empower change by creating opportunity. We love to welcome students to the WVJC family and watch students succeed! WVJC is offering these suggestions for making this New Year the best one yet!

  • Choose a Specific Goal
    • Establishing a specific goal will help you stay on track to fulling your New Year’s resolution. When setting your goal, make sure it is realistic to accomplish.
  • Commit
    • Once you have established your goal, commit to yourself, and take steps to make it happen! Write your goal down and post it on your refrigerator or carry it in your wallet. This constant reminder will help you stay committed.
  • Establish a Solid Support System
    • Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated to accomplish your goals. If you have a friend or family member who wants to take steps to improve their life, set a goal together! If you have negative wizards in your life, leave them behind and surround yourself with people who support and encourage you to accomplish your goals.
  • Reward Yourself
    • Set up a personal reward system to encourage yourself. These rewards can be small such as buying yourself a special treat or a trip to the movies.

If you are ready to start your new career, contact us today to learn more about the short-term programs at WVJC! We care about your success and would love to help you accomplish your career goals! Request information here to learn more about training programs in nursing, medical assisting, billing and coding, dental, business, and IT!

Kaitlyn Pack – Student Highlight

Kaitlyn Pack graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 2019. During her senior year, Kaitlyn was trying to decide where she wanted to go to college. She met with High School Admissions Advisor, Stephanie Duncan, while she was still in high school. “Stephanie is the reason I am here at WVJC! She told me WVJC is a lot of fun, and we are like a big family, and I am now part of the WVJC family!” Kaitlyn knew she wanted to be close to home, and after exploring her options, she decided WVJC was the best fit for her!

It was an easy decision for Kaitlyn to pursue an education for an Associate Degree in Clinical Medical Assistant because she has always loved the medical field! Kaitlyn said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is the teachers! Everyone is like a big family! We all communicate, and everyone is there if you need them, no matter the situation.”

She continued, “My favorite person at WVJC is Mrs. Kellie! She is always in a good mood, and when I see her, it makes me happy because she is always happy!”  We asked Kaitlyn what her favorite medical assisting class was, and she said, “Clinical Laboratory Procedures is my favorite class because we got to take blood, and I loved it!” It seems like just yesterday that Kaitlyn started college at WVJC!  Now she is preparing for her externship and is looking forward to applying her medical skills in a hands-on medical office.

After graduation, Kaitlyn hopes to get a job as a medical assistant at a hospital. She would like to relocate to North Carolina or South Carolina.  In 5 years, Kaitlyn would like to be working as a medical assistant, have her own house, and driving a nice car. Kaitlyn said, “I would refer a friend to WVJC because it is a friendly place. The staff and students are all friendly, and if you want close to home, this WVJC is the place to go!” If you would like to know more about the fast-track medical assisting training program or other programs at WVJC, request information here!

Thankful For Our WVJC Bridgeport Students

From the first moment a student comes to campus, they become part of the WVJC family.  To some, the definition of family means a group of people related by blood or ancestry.  At WVJC, our family has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with caring, compassion, and support.

Autumn in West Virginia is a time a reflection, gratitude, and spending time with family. While dinner preparation or traveling may be stressful for some, it is a great time to stop and appreciate all that we have. Faculty and staff at WVJC were asked what they were most thankful for this year. A ton of great responses were received, but with one recurring theme: our students.

WVJC Bridgeport Campus President, Jenica Greynolds, says she is most thankful for the moments with students who have struggled academically or personally throughout their program, but never gave up and tried harder despite challenges.  “These are the students that come to me for tutoring or advice, and when they get to the end of their program the pride on their face makes all the hard work and time spent with them worth every minute,” added Greynolds.

Medical Program Director, Caitlin Syrews, said she is grateful for her students because they keep her laughing and on her toes. She remembers laughing hysterically over a student putting their gloves on backward. She really believes that adding fun to education at WVJC makes a lasting impression, and is thankful to our WVJC students for allowing her to do so.

The Career Management Director, Amber Porter, is thankful and proud of our students daily.  She enjoys watching our students become professional and confident in the process.  She said, “The best part of my job is watching them become professional and seeing the excitement when they get the job.”

Financial Aid Director, Alice Middleton, describes why she is thankful for WVJC students, especially during these trying times: “During a time of uncertainty with COVID 19 our students keep pursuing their dream, they always stop in to say hi and see how you are doing.  I am thankful that we have students who are compassionate and caring and will be a great role model in society.”


Noticeably, we are thankful for our WVJC students not only now, but every day. Current Medical Assisting student, Alyssa Shue, says it is obvious that WVJC cares about their students.  She said, “Anytime I have a question they never hesitate to explain and make sure I understand it before moving on. They also always make us feel comfortable and not to be afraid to speak up.”

This year, WVJC is taking the time to reflect on all the positives. From students overcoming difficult challenges, taking the time to have fun, becoming professionals in their careers, and pursuing their dreams, there is always something to be thankful for. WVJC is most thankful for our students.

Rhonda Hardy – Faculty Highlight

Rhonda Hardy was born in Elkins, WV, and has remained in WV her entire life. She is married, with a son, daughter, 3 dogs, and a cat. During high school, Rhonda made plans to go to UCLA and become a marine biologist, but fate had other plans for her. She met the love of her life when she was 15 and he had no plans of leaving WV. The summer between her junior and senior year in high school, Rhonda moved in with his family to help take care of his mother who was terminally ill with cancer. That is when she discovered that nursing was her true calling.

Rhonda began her nursing career as an LPN in 2000. During this time, she worked as a float and step-down nurse at Fairmont General Hospital. In 2006, she returned to school at Mountain State University and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude. She continued to work at Fairmont General Hospital and became an Emergency Room nurse.

In the summer of 2019, she left Fairmont General Hospital and became a floor nurse at Grafton City Hospital because she felt like she forgot what it meant to be a compassionate and caring nurse.

In 2019, Pam Wilson asked Rhonda to join the West Virginia Junior College team in Bridgeport.  Rhonda excitedly accepted her new position as a practical nursing instructor. She recently accepted the Clinical Coordinator position for both nursing programs at WVJC Bridgeport. Her passion is educating students and feeling like she is making a difference. The students have made her see that making this change was the best decision for her. She loves that WVJC is such a close-knit family and so supportive of their staff and students. She cannot wait to start this new position to see where it may lead.

To learn more about WVJC’s Practical Nursing and Nursing programs, request information here!